Sharing My World 83

Share Your World Nov.19, 2018

Are you an early to bed, early to rise person, a night owl and day sleeper/dozer, or an ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ person?

Well I don’t know, I’ve been both the first and the last one for sure. Early to bed is easy this time of year since it gets dark around 5 p.m. By eight it feels like midnight. After sleeping for eight or nine hours it’s STILL dark, but I get up and make coffee anyway and drink it by the light of my iPad, resisting the urge to stay in bed waiting for daylight while also lessening the likelihood of hibernating until February.

When we lived in Pond Inlet, NWT with close to six months of round the clock daylight, sleeping was something I would just sometimes suddenly remember I hadn’t done for a while, so I’d check my watch to see if it was a.m. or p.m. We covered our bedroom windows with tin foil to get some semblance of night. The six months of darkness were a whole other story.

W is a night owl prowler (we have night lights everywhere so he doesn’t bump into things and wake me up….I mean, kill himself) and he takes about 500 naps during the day. That could be a slightly exaggerated number. The snoring probably makes it seem to go on longer than it actually does.

What are some misconceptions about your hobby, should you have a hobby?

All my painting and drawing and crafting things are in my bedroom. That’s also where I store my yarn and finished art pieces and tools and patterns and ideas. If I don’t try to keep all this stuff confined to one room, it will grow and expand and multiply and eventually take over the entire house. It is impossible for me to create anything without making a colossal mess. Sadly, this makes me reluctant to start a new project because I dread the clean up that inevitably follows.

A penguin walks through the door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

He is here to remind me that life is a lot less serious than I’m trying to make it out to be. He says

“Humor is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations, and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.”

I’m surprised to hear a penguin quote Mark Twain. I’m even more astounded by his poor choice of head-gear for such a chilly day in November.

Aliens have landed…do they come in peace?

They had engine trouble and were forced to make an emergency landing to do repairs. Everyone is busy texting on smart phones and no one notices. So I guess we’ll never know.

What are you really, incredibly thankful for this week?

Amazon. I am SO excited to have finally ordered a keyboard to use with my iPad so I don’t have to use the on-screen one anymore when writing things like this. I’m tired of pecking away with one finger. I will be extra thankful if my left hand still works and I can actually remember how to type. And W will be happy there are less greasy fingerprints to look through when I show him something like the above cartoon. Which he didn’t find nearly as funny as I did.

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Places I’ve Called Home

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Way back in the day before color when farms were in black and white and sepia.

I almost called this list ‘Places I’ve Slept’ but thankfully saw the problems with that almost immediately.  Titles are hard.  Unless you don’t give a hoot about accuracy.  Anyway, here we go, a list of the various locations I’ve been referring to whenever I’ve said “let’s go home”.

    1. From birth to about age six I lived on a little farm in Ontario down the hill from my maternal grandparents farm, close to Lake Huron, beside a stone and cement bridge which spanned a raging creek.  I was little.  It looked raging to me.
    2. More permanent farm number two, about 8 miles from Port Elgin, the town I decided to call my hometown because I went to high school there.  This is the home I kept coming back to for most of my adult life, the place where my parents lived most of theirs.
    3. The Orchards house in Stratford where I boarded (a shared bedroom with a tiny little balcony) while attending Teachers College.
    4. A two bedroom apartment in St. Catharines shared with 3 other working girls.  I was a substitute teacher, on call to fill in anywhere in the city.  (This is when I met W at a residence party at the university) (it wasn’t all about work)
    5. The Wilkes house in St. Catharines where I boarded in a little smoke-filled bedroom while attending Brock University.  I was the one supplying the smoke,  convinced it helped me concentrate while writing boring English and Philosophy papers.
    6. A tiny little garage sized house in a backyard in Kenora, our first home as a married couple, close to one of W’s aunts who liked to feed us.
    7. Basement apartment in Dryden on Charles Street,  close to one of MY aunts who also liked to feed us.
    8. High rise apartment in Guelph where W went back to University and I worked at the campus bookstore, all in the interests of one day being able to feed ourselves.
    9. Basement apartment in Guelph for married University students.  Our daughters first home.
    10. Government house in Cambridge Bay, N.W.T.  Our sons first home.
    11. Row housing in Inuvik, N.W.T. The old ones close to the hospital, not the new ones on the other side of town.  We had utilidors and board walks.  And dust and mud and the scrawniest Christmas trees in the history of the world.
    12. Government house in Pond Inlet, N.W.T., right beside the Arctic Ocean.  The view from our front window was of the mountains on Bylot Island and random icebergs floating by or trapped in the ocean ice.
    13. Government house in Yellowknife on Bromley Drive, a paved street!  We were on our way back to civilization.
    14. And here we are, (and have been since the late 1980’s) in our very own mortgage free abode in sunny Alberta, the province my kids call home.

I’m glad we stopped our wandering ways.  I always worried that our kids would turn into little nomads with no roots.  Both of us had parents who stayed put even after we moved away and I wanted that stability for our kids too.

After all these years and all these places I still consider Ontario home and have vague dreams about one day going back there to end up somewhere close to the place I started.  I don’t know if it will ever happen, and really it doesn’t matter.  Home is just a thing you take with you wherever you go, leaving little pieces of your heart behind in every place you’ve ever been settled and happy. Nothing is forever, and we got good at packing up our memories and moving on.  I expect that skill will come in handy again one fine day.

 

Important Stuff

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What’s more important – where you live or what you do for a living? As soon as I decide which leg is more important to me, my right or my left, I’ll be able to answer that question. Where you live and what you do are often inextricably intertwined. One defines the other. If you’re offered your dream job on the other side of the world you will find a way to relocate to where it’s based to pursue your passion. If you cannot bear to leave the place where you grew up and your family and friends and the house you built yourself, you will find employment in that locality and be thankful for a job that pays enough to allow you to stay where you want to be.

My husband asked me once if I’d follow him to the ends of the earth. How he failed to notice that I’d already done that is a real mind boggler. We’ve lived in Cambridge Bay, Inuvik, Pond Inlet and Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories where he worked as a Wildlife Officer, which proves that I was either in love or insane for those eleven years. Perhaps a little of both. But we went wherever his job took him while our kids were small. Then we had to make a choice in their best interests and we moved “south” where schools and facilities and activities and opportunities were so much better for them. And now that they’re both all satisfactorily grown up and on their own, we can go back to making more selfish choices.

It’s hard to measure and compare the importance of things when their values fluctuate. It’s not a perfect world. Every day we make compromises and concessions and trade-offs in our search for harmony and balance. And if we’re very lucky, no matter where we live or what we’re doing, we find it.

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